Our current fascination with Superheroes

I think many, if not most, boys of my generation collected Comic books when they were kids. Everyone had their favorite, mine were somewhat like the title to my blog, eclectic. I liked primarily The Incredible Hulk and Richey Rich but also Archie and Jughead, the Fantastic Four and a few others. I didn’t really think of it at the time but when I was older I once read a psychologist suggest that boys liked superheroes because they naturally wanted to be a hero and yet were generally personally powerless. Over the years comic book heroes have had movies and TV shows made featuring them, Superman, The Hulk, even Mighty Mouse back in the day, came and went. In the last 10-15 years though Movies and a few TV shows featuring TV shows have exploded. It’s made me wonder why that has occurred and I think I have at least an idea (outside of the fact they’ve made billions of dollars). We as a culture feel powerless.

For many years our culture has had the conceit that we were progressing and we would eventually conquer all of our world’s problems. The Star Trek original series is a great illustration of this but the early “Next Generation” episodes I think especially were written with this idea in mind. I don’t think many people in our culture would argue with the fact that is no longer the case. Terrorism, and environmental fears, and political tensions, among a host of other things, have eroded our confidence in the future to the degree that instead of the utopian dreams of the future as illustrated in Star Trek, we have dystopian nightmares that only a Superhero can conquer. Ironically no Superhero from Marvel or D.C. Comics can fix what ails our world because they aren’t real. There is a real superhero….I wonder when people might be open to him…

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Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

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